The Sci-Fi Short ‘Rise’ Starring Anton Yelchin will Become a Feature Film
The unsettling five-minute sci-fi short Rise, which played like a trailer and starred the late Anton Yelchin, is being made into a film after a successful release back in March 2016. Telling the story of man's attempt to eradicate sentient robots from the robots' perpective, it looks to be a relevant film in our near future, for a number of reasons.
The feature film will keep its original director, David Karlak, who also directed Rise VR, a virtual reality version of Rise from the perspective of a robot. The "confluence of Virtual Reality and Science Fiction Cinema" as Karlak describes it on his website, won a Tribeca Film Festival Award in 2014 for Storyscapes Series.
Rise documents a world in the near future where artificial intelligence is hunted and killed after learning how to think and feel, effectively making them too human. Much of the five minute film involves a military colonel threatening a rebellious A.I. if he does not give up the whereabouts of his A.I. comrades. This short ends with shots of violent struggles between robots and police enforcement in the streets as the protagonist announces, "We will always survive."
The rebellious A.I. was played by Yelchin shortly before his death in June 2016. Yelchin is best known for his roles in the Star Trek reboot series as Pavel Chekov and Trollhunters as Jim Lake Jr., as well as other films like Green Room, Like Crazy and Fright Night. The blood-thirsty (or hard drive-thirsty in this case) Colonel is played by Rufus Sewell, who has had prominent roles in The Man in the High Castle, Hercules, Gods of Egypt, The Illusionist, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
There have been no casting announcements yet, however, the original writers, Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, will be writing the adaptation with Johnny Lin (American Made, Bernie) and Brian Oliver (Hacksaw Ridge, Black Swan) producing. Here's the original short film:
The visual effects were already impressive for a small project, so it should be cool to see how Karlak and company handle a feature film sized budget. And if it becomes the full movie that Rise seemed to advertise (again, it progresses much like a trailer), then we should be able to expect the classic dystopian robot storytelling, but told from the side of the robots and with a heavy dose of modern protesting and struggles.